No one is denying the breakout of Green Bay Packers receiver Christian Watson. After a quiet start to the season, Watson has recorded eight touchdowns over the last four weeks in a showing that has been so significant that it has quarterback Aaron Rodgers stating that it has an impact on his thoughts about retirement.
Will the two-touchdowns per-game average continue? Probably not. Was the breakout too late in the season to get into the awards race, though? According to sportsbooks, no.
Christian Watson: 7 TD receptions since Week 10— PFF (@PFF) December 5, 2022
More than 22 NFL teams during that span pic.twitter.com/2S2RKdf2y4
On DraftKings, Watson has the second-best odds (+225) to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and actually ranks first among receivers. The only player he’s listed behind for the award is Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker, who left last week’s game with an ankle strain.
Based on the implied probabilities that the top four rookie of the year candidates carry, it’s a four-player race for the award in 2022. Aside from Walker (+200, 33 percent) and Watson (+225, 31 percent), New York Jets receiver Garrett Wilson (+300, 25 percent) and New Orleans Saints receiver Chris Olave (+450, 18 percent) are in the mix.
On the season, Walker has recorded 138 carries for 648 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 19 receptions for 116 yards. While it’s hard to compare apples to oranges at running back and receiver, we can get head-to-head comparisons on the other three receivers in the race.
Olave leads the trio in both receptions (60) and receiving yards (887), but Watson has as many receiving touchdowns as both Olave and Wilson combined. For reference, Olave and Wilson have made 117 receptions in 2022. Watson has 401 yards and seven touchdowns on just 25 catches. Doing so much with so few targets, especially with the cluster of touchdowns coming in the last month, is why Watson is in this conversation.
While it’s clear this line bakes in some projection that Watson’s momentum will continue moving forward, as he doesn’t have the yardage the other candidates have this year, the fact that he’s become the Packers’ go-to scoring weapon in a revitalized offense seems to be going a long way for bettors.